The oil painting Eulogy of the Yellow River, by the late artist and film director, Chen Yifei, was sold for 40.32 million yuan (US$5.25 million) at Sunday's China Guardian 2007 Spring Auctions, to become the most expensive oil painting in China's auction history.
China News Service reported that the deal was made after fierce competition from bidders at the auction. The price finally reached 40.32 million yuan to make the work the most expensive of Chen Yifei's and also a record among domestic oil paintings.
Wu Guanzhong's oil painting, Ten Thousand Kilometers of Yangtze River, was sold at 37.95 million yuan (US$4.94 million) last December and set the record of most expensive oil painting at that time.
Previously experts were expecting Chen Yifei's oil painting to be sold at a minimum of US$2.86 million at the auctions, but the actual result is far better.
A preview was held on last Wednesday, where 2,000 paintings and sculpture works, from a range of modern and contemporary artists, were displayed. They would also be auctioned in this spring sale.
The 297 by 143.5 centimeter work depicts a Red Army soldier standing on the mountain top overlooking the Yellow River. The Red Army was the name for the People's Liberation Army of China before 1946.
Chen Yifei is reported to have said he personally considers the work beautiful, heroic and romantic.
It was produced by 25-year-old Chen Yifei in 1972, and is considered representative of his early style. Chen Yifei died in 2005.
(CRI.cn May 14, 2007)